Breweries continue to turn to the sun to make their suds, as Hawaii’s Kona Brewery became the latest to turn to solar power its operations. Meanwhile Vivint Solar announced two expansions bringing it into new markets and expanding its reach in an existing one. While it sounds good for the solar industry, the energy department anticipated that growth will slow in the future.
Once Kona Brewing’s new 336 kilowatt solar array and 122 kilowatt hour energy storage system are completed, the brewery will be producing roughly 25 percent of its beer with solar power. The brewery is the latest to turn to solar power to run its operations, following others like Rock Art Brewing in Vermont. Even Budweiser’s parent company plans to transition to 100 percent renewable energy across its worldwide operations.
Vivint Solar, which quickly became one of the nation’s largest residential solar installers announced that it’s entering Illinois and partnering with a homebuilder in California ahead of the solar mandate there. It’s the first time the company has entered the midwest. By partnering with a homebuilder in California it’s also positioning itself well for the 2020 mandate requiring all news homes to have solar power.
Solar power remains one of the fastest growing sources of new electric production in the US. But the energy department’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) anticipated that the development of utility-scale solar power will slow down in 2019. The EIA said its anticipation of the slow down was partly due to a change in how it evaluates new energy infrastructure growth.
One of the places where solar power can have the most impact on greening electric generation is islands, like Hawaii and the Virgin Islands. They have had to rely on less economic sources of electric generation like diesel, which is shipped in. But solar power is becoming more of a staple on islands.
Last week the Virgin Group’s BMR Energy announced that it would refurbish a 4 megawatt power plant on the Virgin Islands after it was damaged by Hurricane Maria last year. The company, founded by Richard Branson, is also working to make more islands in the Caribbean solar powered and cleaner.Tweet